The Cost-Effectiveness of Lowering Permissible Noise Levels Around U.S. Airports

Jiao, Boshen; Zafari, Zafar; Will, Brian; Ruggeri, Kai; Li, Shukai; Muennig, Peter A.

Aircraft noise increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and mental illness. The allowable limit for sound in the vicinity of an airport is 65 decibels (dB) averaged over a 24-h ‘day and night’ period (DNL) in the United States. We evaluate the trade-off between the cost and the health benefits of changing the regulatory DNL level from 65 dB to 55 dB using a Markov model. The study used LaGuardia Airport (LGA) as a case study. In compliance with 55 dB allowable limit of aircraft noise, sound insulation would be required for residential homes within the 55 dB to 65 dB DNL. A Markov model was built to assess the cost-effectiveness of installing sound insulation. One-way sensitivity analyses and Monte Carlo simulation were conducted to test uncertainty of the model. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of installing sound insulation for residents exposed to airplane noise from LGA was $11,163/QALY gained (95% credible interval: cost-saving and life-saving to $93,054/QALY gained). Changing the regulatory standard for noise exposure around airports from 65 dB to 55 dB comes at a very good value.

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Also Published In

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

More About This Work

Academic Units
Health Policy and Management
Mailman School of Public Health
Published Here
February 16, 2018